Security operatives on Thursday dispersed traders at the popular Owode Market in Ede North Local Government area of Osun State as part of efforts to curb the spread of COVID-19 in the state.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the state government had on Friday directed that all weekly markets, one of which is Owode market, across the state be suspended indefinitely.
NAN also reports that traders at the market, however, flouted the order, as they gathered for business, thus forcing the deployment of security personnel to disperse them.
Mukaila Uthman, the Chairman of Ede North Local Government Council, who led other government officials to the market, told journalists that they arrived at the market as early as 6am to monitor the level of compliance to government’s directive.
He said when the traders gathered, he and his team tried to educate and persuade them on the need to adhere strictly to government’s directive, adding, however, that they rebuffed all the entreaties.
Uthman said security personnel had to be invited, adding that it took the intervention of the men of the Nigerian Police Force and the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps to disperse the traders.
He said government’s decision to shut down the weekly markets was part of the precautionary measures to curtail the spread of the deadly Coronavirus pandemic.
According to him, since there are confirmed cases of COVID-19 disease in neighbouring states coupled with the recent confirmed case of the virus in the state, all hands must be on deck to ensure that the disease is not allowed to spread across the state.
The council chairman said that the lock down on markets had become necessary due to the fact that Osun State shares boundaries with some states with confirmed cases of COVID-19.
He said the fact that people from neighbouring states often patronised the weekly markets had made the state vulnerable.
Uthman enjoined market men and women to support government’s efforts at containing the spread of the disease by ensuring regular hand washing and use of hand sanitisers for themselves and those patronising them.